Sunny and hot (very hot) weather, an awesome shore-line, a fantastic, inviting beach plus cold and cheap beverages… what more could any sports fan want? Maybe… some Rugby! Beach Rugby is the sum of all those details, mixing into an incredible and powerful ‘cocktail of rugby’ with some partying thrown in to boot, that makes many reasons to enjoy Figueira Beach Rugby
For the 8th year in a row, Figuera Beach in Portugal will showcase the best beach rugby tournament worldwide. Teams from all-around the globe will come to play in the beautiful beaches of Praia da Figueira in the southern region of Figueira da Foz.
Teams to compete would include the Curaçau National Beach Rugby team, the Cayman Islands Beach rugby team, the Belgian Magnets (some players here represent the XV and Sevens teams of Belgium), Las Gazelles, LMRCV from Lille, France and many more to be announced.
Top 5 Reasons to Enjoy Figueira Beach Rugby Festival 2017
So when is it going to happen? July 1-2, occupying the whole weekend with almost three hundred games planned, between seventy teams involved (males and female sides) enjoying the weekend all together in four sun-drenched sand fields.
For those who don’t know about Beach Rugby, here is a simple explanation: games have the duration of ten minutes. Each team has 12 players, five in-field while the rest wait anxiously outside. You can call for any sub as you like, there’s no limit, and the only rule is that you have to leave or enter the field by the try line area.
Tries count as one point each, there’s no kicking the ball, no rucks and you have to keep the ball alive. If the tackler catches you and holds you up for more than two seconds, a quick-tap penalty will be awarded to the defending team. There are no scrums, no lineouts or kicks. In beach rugby, there is only running with the ball! Passing it, scoring tries, tackle and turnover while the tackled player is more usually not on the ground (no rucks allowed).
Beach Rugby is All Go!!
There’s no place for failed tackles, you have to keep up the pace. And in the sand, just keep running and supporting your team mates. Sides with the best handling skills are the very best,and Last Word on Rugby Portuguese writer Francisco Isaac says;
“above all else remember… don’t lose the ball!”
It’s quite an entertaining game to play and to watch. A festival weekend awaits both participants, and spectators. Quick paced action, it keeps anyone watching it interested.
So with that quick explanation, you now understand the many reasons why beach rugby in July is the place to be. Now let LWOR give you 5 reasons that should make you come to Portugal in July. Even get a team together.
Hire a car, or travel on a bus or plane [or transfer your team, if you’re playing] and head to Figueira Beach Rugby to watch and live-large at an incredible tournament.
Note: to play you have to subscribe your team by June 20.
1 – Environment, What Else?
Beach Rugby is all about Environment, the way people feel the games and the ‘partying’ around the fields. Figueira has the best ambiance in the EBRA series (the official body that rules the Beach Rugby tournaments).
There are spectacular stands, shouting and singing while the games are running. The fact that everything is ‘near’ makes it more intense, passionate and dynamic. Everyone wants to be part of it and even those who don’t like to tackle, want to become the Beach-version of Richie McCaw!
There’s a lounge space, where music is played throughout the two days and where you can grab a drink or two. Not for players though, as the intensity and harshness of the game doesn’t let you party during the day… but when the night comes, Figueira turns from a Rio de Janeiro beach to an Las Vegas all night party.
Now mix it up with rugby players from all-around the world, different ages and genders, that have the sole purpose of playing in the day and partying in the night. Figueira’s Beach Rugby delivers that with such brilliance, that you would love to stay there forever… a new kind of Odyssey!
2 – It’s Still Rugby… but with New Rules
Every good rugby player is always looking for exciting matches, trying to get to the try-line or connect the best tackle possible. In beach rugby you can do that way more than in a XV’s match, but it will take a toll on you. It’s ten minutes of high intensity play, athletes are always looking to run with the ball. Evade the opposition and offload the ball, as if you were a Sonny Bill Williams double.
Portuguese and French teams are quite impressive in this, as their type of game-play allows them to escape the tackle, offload or go for the try-line. The latin flair gives them an advantage, but teams from around the world will compete over the weekend.
You don’t have to the be the very best to play beach rugby, but you do have to really like to play rugby, to get into the game. It’s a good opportunity to hone your skills, to apply new kinds of tackling styles, and especially to get along with your teammates.
In Figueira Beach Rugby you will clash with the Magnets, Academia Pedro Leal (International Portuguese players like Adérito Esteves or Pedro Leal). Ovale Marseille (one the best Beach rugby teams out there), CF “Os Belenenses”, and many more.
This is the place you want to be in on the 1st and 2nd of July.
3- Bed, Breakfast and….Rugby!
One hour and half from Lisbon, Figueira is a hot tourism spot to go, as the hotels or modern day ‘Air B&Bs’ are well priced. The beach itself is huge with a fantastic shoreline that invites you to take a nice, cool dip. There is a good variety of places to eat, from all-day English breakfast to Tapas and fresh fish at dinner time.
The prices are quite good, not cheap but definitely worth the money. So Figueira Beach Rugby teams can secure great conditions for the those willing to pay for it. Don’t forget that there are countless after-sunset parties, an awesome lounge in the playing area, four fields (three of them with stands for all who wish to watch the games).
As for the organization of the tournament, it’s the best one in Europe. The foreign teams will have transfers from Lisbon airport to Figueira, and be prepared for the conditions: sleep, food, train, play and if you win, a drink or two. Well trained match officials, medics and other members of staff that will help improve your stay.
4- The Treasure Chest: Prize-Money For All
Yes, one of the main goals for any team playing in the tournament is the prize money. There is prizes for the men’s and women’s champions, including the finalists, runners-up and going down as far seventh place, for both divisions respectively.
The prize-money can go up to 1,500€ for the men’s division and slightly less for the women’s [because there are less female teams]. It is still a good sum for two days of rugby playing. Add in the entertainment and partying, and the benefits make for an enjoyable time in the rugby beach environment.
In 2017 there will be at least 50 teams fighting for the chance to win the prize-money; with a special few favoured over the rest. So, ask yourself ‘can your team go for the crown?’ Or at least qualify for the knockout stages. If so, get your team mates together for the 2017 festival.
No evento FIGUEIRA BEACH RUGBY tivemos a presença das nossas promotoras com a nossa moldura, com jogos e prémios! pic.twitter.com/JZp0UCRNYG
— Alberto Oculista (@AlbertoOculista) July 7, 2016
5- New Horizons, New Flavors and a New Sport!
Meet new people, try a different type of rugby, discover new countries and feel free to entangle yourself in this new world. A different kind of rugby, quicker and more accessible that requires skills and tricks to overcome the close-tackle contest and go for the try. Even props can compete, as the top scorers in the sand rugby arenas – anything is possible!
In Figueira you will meet people from all-around the World, from Belgium to the Cayman Islands. From France, Italy, Curaçau, Netherlands and many other countries. Imagine six or seven hundred players (not counting family, friends or staff) all together in the same city, playing rugby, talking the same ‘rugby language’ and having fun… responsible fun.
Does This Sound Like You? Visit Figueira Beach Rugby
All of this is available on a peaceful but dynamic and fun country like Portugal. With large beaches, nice and open-minded people and a good taste for rugby, the beach rugby festival is a fantastic place to visit and play at.
Figueira Beach Rugby is scheduled for July 1-2, starting early on the morning of the Saturday the 1st. For all who wish to come and be part of something special, you can contact the Figueira’s Beach Rugby team on their website here.